Pathway to Health: A Connection to WRMC and a Healthy Lifestyle
The “Pathway to Health” is a network of streets and boulevards being streamlined and beautified to transport patients and families from Interstate 180 to Williamsport Regional Medical Center. Thanks to a public-private partnership between the city of Williamsport, Lycoming County and Susquehanna Health this route will receive numerous improvements in the next few years including traffic signals with EMS pre-emption and pedestrian crossing, widening to create turning lanes where necessary, streetlights, curbs and sidewalks and destination signage.
While the primary goal is to improve regional access to the WRMC , the project has taken on the additional meaning of promoting healthy lifestyles and improving safety within the communities that encompass the Pathway.
The physical Pathway will be completed in phases as funding becomes available. The first phase, funded through a federal grant, encompasses the WRMC entrance along Walnut Street almost to Park Avenue and the intersection of Walnut and High Streets was completed in the winter of 2012.
Phase two, funded with a state grant picks up where phase one ends on Walnut Street through to Little League Boulevard.
Funding for the remainder of the project, including Campbell Street, 3rd Street and Maynard Street to Interstate 180, is still being sought by City and County officials. They estimate the entire project will cost $5 million, a worthwhile investment to maintain healthcare services and quality of life for their citizens while keeping the area’s largest employer in the city.
The Pathway will also be used by Susquehanna Health’s wellness programming as a catalyst to improve community health. As green space and pedestrian walkways are developed, including those linking WRMC to the downtown area and the Riverwalk, Susquehanna Health hopes to work with other community partners to assure that these areas are safe and well maintained. Working with neighborhood leaders they hope to develop programs that emphasize both education and physical activity to promote healthy lifestyles.